Originally reviewed here.
August 22, 2003
St. Petersburg, Florida
CM Punk (w/ NOSAWA) vs. Raven [Straight Edge Rules]
2003 was arguably the best year of Raven’s career, right? I’m judging that just based on what I’ve read, but it seems to have been an exceptionally strong year for the man.
Punk explaining that “Straight Edge Rules” essentially means that the rules of a wrestling match will actually be enforced. The crowd was a big fan of homophobic chants for this match. Chasyn Rance was made the referee for this match. I’m guessing that’s going to play a major part in this match. Rance prevented Raven from using a chair and sending Punk into a turnbuckle. While the ref removed the chair, Punk hit Raven in the balls to cut him off. He then worked Raven over for a while. He broke the Straight Edge Rules whenever he got a chance. Raven came back after Punk accidentally hit himself in the head with a chair. Raven went to use a chair, but the ref took it away. Raven was working his ass off and made for a great babyface. The problem was that the fans wanted Raven to kill him with plunder. Raven hit the Raven Effect, but the ref pretended to be too injured to count. Punk then schoolboyed Raven: 1.2.3! Super fast count.
As far as middle chapters go for a wrestling feud, I enjoyed this quite a bit. It made Punk more hated and Raven more sympathetic. When the match is labeled “Straight Edge Rules,” you definitely should expect a screwy finish.
Match Rating: ***